Role of the death of human alveolar epithelial cells in the inflammation caused by 2019-nCoV and verification by transcriptome analysis of infected patients

  • Funded by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [São Paulo Research Foundation] (FAPESP)
  • Total publications:6 publications

Grant number: 2020/05270-0

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [São Paulo Research Foundation] (FAPESP)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    Brazil, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

    Universidade de São Paulo
  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory


  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details

    Not applicable

  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



2019-nCoV infection results in pneumonia marked by intense inflammation. There is still no specific treatment for COVID 19 disease. The fact that 2019-nCoV infection causes intense pathological inflammation shows that surviving the infection is more a matter of tolerating lung damage (damage tolerance) than properly controlling the load viral (tolerance to the pathogen). New perspectives for the treatment of pneumonia involve host directed therapies, and should include therapeutic measures aimed at damage tolerance mechanisms. Lung damage in 2019-nCoV infection involves the destruction of pulmonary alveoli as a consequence of the death of infected alveolar epithelial cells, and the cytokine storm. Comorbidities, such as chronic lung diseases, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, among others, aggravate the infection caused by the new coronavirus. This project has three well-defined objectives: i. To study the role of the death of human alveolar epithelial cells infected by 2019-nCoV, as direct mediators of macrophage activation; ii. Analyze the transcriptome of patients with or without comorbidities in order to relate the findings in vivo and in vitro; iii. Establish correlations between transcripts and comorbidities. These objectives are in line with the objectives of the Thematic Project under my coordination, aimed at investigating mechanisms that exacerbate asthma and acute bacterial pneumonia and diabetes and tuberculosis comorbidity. At the end of the development of the project, our purpose will be to list molecular targets to be investigated as pharmacological agonists or antagonists in immunotherapies directed to the host with COVID-19 with or without comorbidities, aiming at the damage tolerance. This project is a multicentric proposal, which results from the collaboration between FMRP-USP, FCFRP-USP and Hospital São Paulo de Ribeirão Preto, in a collective effort to better understand the immunopathology associated with COVID-19. The peripheral blood samples from patients and individuals from the control group will be shared to carry out different methodologies and the data collected will also be shared, featuring robust research and strengthening links of scientific collaboration.

Publicationslinked via Europe PMC

Last Updated:37 minutes ago

View all publications at Europe PMC

Airway epithelial cells and macrophages trigger IL-6-CD95/CD95L axis and mediate initial immunopathology of COVID-19.

Plasma Sphingomyelin Disturbances: Unveiling Its Dual Role as a Crucial Immunopathological Factor and a Severity Prognostic Biomarker in COVID-19.

The Severity of COVID-19 Affects the Plasma Soluble Levels of the Immune Checkpoint HLA-G Molecule.

Acetylcholine, Fatty Acids, and Lipid Mediators Are Linked to COVID-19 Severity.

Matrix Metalloproteinases on Severe COVID-19 Lung Disease Pathogenesis: Cooperative Actions of MMP-8/MMP-2 Axis on Immune Response through HLA-G Shedding and Oxidative Stress.

Commentary on "Complement C3 vs C5 inhibition in severe COVID-19: Early clinical findings reveal differential biological efficacy" by D.C. Mastellos et al.